IMMIGRATION officers swooped on a Chinese takeaway – which could now face a £20,000 fine.
A team visited Grindon Dragon, in Galashiels Road, after Home Office chiefs received intelligence that people without the right to work in the UK were being employed.
Officers found a 26-year-old man from China with no permission to work in the UK.
He was told to leave the premises and will have to report regularly to the Home Office while further investigations take place into his immigration status.
If he is found to have no valid leave remaining, he faces deportation.
A 30-year-old woman from Singapore was also found working without permission.
She was also told to leave the takeaway and also faces removal from the UK.
Grindon Dragon was then served a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker will be imposed unless proof is provided that legally required pre-employment checks were carried out, such as seeing a Home Office document or passport.
The raid came just 24 hours after the Echo revealed how two people were found to be working illegally at Golden Chippy, in Southwick. Officers found a 21-year-old Indian man to have overstayed his visa. He was arrested and has now been detained.
Officers also found a 27-year-old Indian man with no permission to work in the UK.
Phillippa Russell, from the North East and Cumbria Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “We will track down immigration offenders wherever they are.
“Illegal working is not a victimless crime – it defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities.
“I would urge members of the public with detailed and specific information about suspected illegal working to contact us.”